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Clinical Electives Program: Pain and Palliative Care

Fall, Winter, and Spring. Four- or Eight-Week Session
Note: this rotation is only offered February-June.

Rotation Coordinator:
Ann Berger, MSN, MD

Rotation Description
This is an advanced clinical elective for medical students who have a particular interest in Pain and Palliative Care.

The NIH Clinical Research Center (CRC) is comprised of over 27 Institutes and Centers whose purpose is the conduct of clinical research with medically and surgically ill patient subjects. The NIH Clinical Center Pain and Palliative Care Service provides consults to NIH CRC inpatients and outpatients who have a wide array of medical illnesses including cancer, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), rare genetic diseases, infectious diseases, and endocrine and autoimmune disorders.

Students will observe clinical consults of patient subjects referred to the Pain and Palliative Care Service, prepare informal case or journal club presentations, and learn about research in pain and palliative care. This consult service provides a systematic approach to patient assessment and care planning for CC patients. The student will round with the team on the inpatient unit, go to outpatient clinic, attend weekly interdisciplinary rounds and all educational opportunities provided by the service. Because this is a small course, individualized programs will vary widely in accordance with the needs and interests of each student.

Palliative care is medical care that provides relief from suffering and support for the best possible quality of life for patients and their families facing advanced chronic illness. Palliative care improves quality of life, by focusing on the physical, psychosocial, spiritual aspects of care. Both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic modalities are used including mind-body modalities, energy medicine, acupuncture, pet therapy, music therapy, art therapy and massage.


  • Ann Berger, MSN, MD, Chief
  • Eva Cummings, MT/Program Specialist
  • Karen Baker, RN, MSN, CRNP
  • M. Jennifer Cheng, MD
  • Jean-Paul Pinzon, DO
  • Christina Tafe, RN, MSN, ACNP

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This page last updated on 11/03/2022

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